Primecard CEO Ric Roth Talks About the Benefits of Primecard vs. Other Online Discount Programs

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Q: Which offers a better deal: a group buying site or Primecard?

A: For 25 years, Primecard has offered a better deal across the board, because it offers deals seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, and you can use as many as you want. If there’s a restaurant you like in our Primecard directory, newsletters, or updates, you can go to the restaurants every day and enjoy the benefits. Group buying deals offer discounts on the first time only and also include limitations on how you can spend, how many people can go, and what days of the week.

Q: Some reports indicate that the Groupons of the world are not doing so well. What makes you think Primecard can succeed?

A: We have lived in the “benefit space” for over 25 years. When we looked at the “daily deal space” and the “group buying space,” we didn’t understand how the offers really benefited consumers or the merchants. So we sat at the sidelines, watching the daily deal model, and noticed the “deal fatigue,” where consumers are not really getting the benefits they want from these programs. They’ve done a great deal of getting people interested in discounting, but now it’s Primecard’s time to share their story. Primecard’s story is about a charge card like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, but when Primecard bills you, we provide benefits ranging from ten to fifteen percent off of all transactions.

Q: If you’ve been so successful, why are you only concentrated in South Florida and Manhattan?

A: It gets back to the value proposition. A part of the reason we can succeed is really two-fold. One, the consumers generate benefits all the time. We have over a thousand locations in New York and South Florida, which is where we operate our business today. People don’t have to wait for a group to buy. We offer a better selection and better flexibility. On the merchant side, Primecard has been cognizant about bringing the right amount of customers to the merchants. We’ve managed to maintain and grow our business over a long period of time by focusing only on filling empty tables, not displacing full paying customers.

Q: What is your goal with Primecard?

A: Our goal is to add a limited number of cardholders in the New York metropolitan area and South Florida. We’d be thrilled to add ten 10,000 or 20,000 cardholders. Other companies have hundreds of cardholders, but we want to add a limited amount. We also want to create awareness among merchants, because merchants are key to these programs. Our goal is to keep our quality and quantity of merchants because we’re a merchant-centric model. Having good merchants means customers will come.

Q: What are the benefits of being a Primecard merchant?

A: Primecard merchants understand that we have a small network of consumers who like to save when dining. Although we offer a travel and retail discounts as well, it’s predominantly dining. Our merchants understand we market to customers 75 times a year in our directories, newsletters, updates, postcards, and email blasts. They also understand that we have the ability to bring the right number of businesses. We pre-purchase the meals from merchants at a much higher rate than other discount programs. So, merchants looking for new business use Primecard, and we market the first meal to the customer.